In the continuing saga of Activision Blizzard and its labor force, the latest chapter seems to have opened the door for a portion of its workers to unionize. On Friday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that a group of 21 Raven Software quality assurance workers can vote on whether to take part in a labor union. This will lead to a town hall meeting next week, in which the Raven workers will decide how to move forward.
The Raven workers initially filed for a union election in late January after Activision Blizzard missed the deadline to voluntarily recognize the Raven union. Activision's argument was that a union for any portion of Raven's workers would have to lead to a union for all 230 of the studio's workers, an argument that was ultimately rejected by the NLRB with today's ruling.
"While we respect the NLRB process, we are disappointed that a decision that could significantly impact the future of our entire studio will be made by fewer than 10 percent of our employees," Activision Blizzard spokesperson Rich George told the Washington Post. "We believe a direct relationship with team members is the best path to achieving individual and company goals."
Activision Blizzard recently moved to make all of its in-house contract QA workers into full-time employees, giving them an increased pay wage in the process. However, this excluded those employees who were attempting to unionize, specifically the workers at Raven.
Raven Software and its QA department have been in the news since December after Activision laid off a portion of the Call of Duty: Warzone workforce, leading to an employee walkout that lasted several weeks.
The story of Raven Software, its QA department, and the movement towards unionization does not appear to be over. We will continue to follow this story at Shacknews. Keep it here for the latest updates.